You can’t beat an early Saturday morning run in the woods. Especially when you get completely lost and end up next to a tree covered in flowers where someone’s clearly been shot (or something)!
For ages I’ve been waiting to take my mate Sally running in the valley as we usually just run on the roads together.
So today was the day. Now there’s a choice of three big nasty hills at the end of this 2 mile trail so I planned to run my usual route the opposite way round. This meant we did the long, gradual climb at the end, the easiest of the three. If you know Pudsey it brings you out at the Fox and Grapes pub so it’s still a bloody hard hill.
Off we set at 8.30am in the gorgeous sunshine. I should’ve known after a few hundred metres that it wasn’t going to go to plan. At my first junction, I couldn’t decide which path to take because my spacial awareness is shite and so are my navigation skills. Anyway we got on the right path and all was well until I had to choose one of two ways again. I decided on the hill instead of the flat boring path, presuming there would be the route I knew at the top on the right. On we climbed up this mega hill and climbed and climbed, no sight of a path to the right. At the top we just ran to the right, through the trees and bracken to find the right way. I got well excited when I thought I knew where we were, then I lost my footing and went over on my right ankle. Bloody painful but ok.
I ran it off and I started to recognise places, then we crossed a stream. Why did we cross the stream? Now we were stuck behind a barbed wire fence, soon we faced a tree in the middle of the wood covered in flowers and messages. Clearly someone died at this tree. I decided they must’ve been shot or something. So we kept running until we literally hit a brick wall. The stream had come to an end. Oops. We crossed it then climbed some barbed wire and suddenly saw we were near a very dodgy area of Bradford, Tyersel. We had no idea of which direction to take. That’s when Sally told me she too is rubbish at directions. Hilarious. The pair of us were absolutely useless!
We saw a farm house so headed for that, my thinking was if there’s a house it must be near a road. I didn’t want us asking for help as I had visions of us knocking and never being seen alive again so we ran up a big old hill instead. Sally ran all of it, I had to walk half. My 20 weeks pregnancy has left me less able to power up a whole hill, much to my frustration.
Another farm house. It looked more friendly but I always think you’ve given up if you ask for directions. So we saw a sign post but didn’t really recognise any of the places. One road though, Gibraltar road seemed familiar so off we went in that direction. It was actually a good idea because we then found a map stuck to a tree, planning permission or something and there was a road I recognised. So up another long hill and we’d be close to home. I ran half then had to walk the rest, Sally left me for dust…again (I’ll catch her in 6 months) then it was a mile home in the hot sun. So my promised quick 2 mile run off road with one gentle steady hill and a mile cool down turned out to be a 3 mile off road run, full of big hills and a mile and a bit coil down. The elevation map tells the story.
I’m not sure how long I’ll be able to do that kind of run this year but I absolutely loved it and was exhilarated afterwards, look we couldn’t be happier!
Off road adventures are the future.